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Old 21-04-2006, 06:00   #1
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Buffing/Waxing Topsides without hauling?

Anyone ever buffed and waxed their topsides without hauling?

I used to use a little rubber suction cup handle and scrubbers to clean the waterline of the megayacht I worked on. I'm wondering if anyone has stood in the dinghy and did all their topsides without hauling.

Also, any experience with careening to do bottom paint?

I'm going to haul this year, but may try to deal less and less with marinas in the future. My current marina is trying to rip me off and will not let me paint my own bottom all of a sudden. After I already paid for the haul, they now tell me that I can't do my bottom paint, and I have to pay them $2000 for them to do it. Yeah, RIGHT! I'm out of this place. (I'm hauling and doing the work in RI this year)

In case you all want to know what marina it is.... it's Manhasset Bay Marina in Port Washington, NY. You can live aboard at it, but you will need to keep very abreast of the drugs on the dock and the typical NY rip-offs, such as this guy suddenly upping the price on the haul out I've already paid $500 for. (venting... so tired of these NY rip offs after living here for years)

Anyway, any experiences with doing topsides without hauling out, or doing bottom paint by careening?

Thanks!
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Old 21-04-2006, 07:12   #2
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Hey Sean,

I have done the topsides while afloat and it's a tough job to say the least. Began the compounding and polishing with a small 4" buffer and graduated to a 9" makita before it was all said and done. Much quicker and a nicer job with the larger piece of equipment but as you can imagine, difficult to hold at arms length for any duration while balancing in a skiff. I ended up tightly tethering the skiff to eliminate the need to "hold on" as you described and pulled myself along and tied off as required. Make sure you wrap and cover anything on the skiff that might scrape the hull sides. I used a hard dink and taped towels over the offending areas. What else... I taped off the boot stripe and worked in small to moderate sized sections. Don't forget to use a good quality, heavy duty extension cord that has no CUTS or NICKS. My electrifying lesson! Frequent beer breaks became the order of the day. I did it in mid-summer and it required two full days to complete. It was not a fun job.

Regarding the fishy marina decision concerning the haul-out. I can only relate my experience here. Aside from greed and cash, no telling what other motives might be in play. On Galveston Bay to the best of my knowledge, there is only one yard out of 6 or 7 that permits boat owner paint spraying or bottom work. The explanations seem to be a bit watered down but the conversation always seem to include the words "EPA" and "NEW GOVT REGS" forbidding the untrained, unlicensed and uncontrolled use and application of toxic substances near the water.

How much are they quoting you a foot? We are somewhere just south of or right at the $40.00 a foot mark which includes haul, high-pressure wash, blocking, full bottom job with Trinidad paint and launch. Blisters 25.00 per, additional charge.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 21-04-2006, 07:25   #3
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As with any use of power tools around water, use a Ground Fault Circuit(GFI or GFCI) protected receptacle, and make certain that you have fail-safe tethers on both the extension cord & power tool. This is even more important when working from a bobbing dink, or hanging over the toe rail.
Like Karl, I canít really recommend waxing/buffing while afloat - itís a bear of a job, that might be better put off Ďtill the next anti-fouling haul out.
Careen & paint - Iíve never tried, and look forward to other Ďexperiencedí replies.
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Old 21-04-2006, 07:32   #4
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It is not uncommon to see someone buffing a boat from a dingy dock or floating dock in the spring in Galveston. I've done parts of my boat from an inflatable. Gord May's advice about GFI is spot on. Finally there has been a big push here on the North Texas coast for Clean Marinas. I was rebuilding a Caraver a few years ago and the Harbor Master was really concerned that the CG would fine him (and me) for any material in the water. The yards face the same problem. I'm sure that the liability with the CG and insurance, along with the added income of selling the labor, is enough reason for the yard to refuse to let you do your own bottom.
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Old 21-04-2006, 08:05   #5
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Scott,

I winter across the Sound in New Rochelle. The location is a small yard with ONLY sailboats, live aboards, including the owner of the place who also races - Art Karp. This is a very good place to winter and summer a sailboat in the west end of the Sound.

When I lived aboard in the Caribe, many boats in English Harbor were polished, even painted in the water. The used a small float and tied it off to the boat. The did most of the work by hand, but I suppose they might have used AC from the boats they work on.

If you plan to winter in the west end of the Sound, contact West Harbor Yacht Services and see if you can get a place. They are reasonbly priced, full service with a small staff of very skilled mechanics (2).

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Old 21-04-2006, 19:11   #6
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Jef, thanks so much for the tips on where to go. Everyone else: Thanks also for describing the technique, as well as the pitfalls.

As to the "laws", I am pretty sure this is just another "scam law", no different than having to get an annual exam just to buy contacts, or being forced to purchase auto insurance.

Just another example of how corrupt our govt is in that it allows anyone with a lobby group to get a scam law passed in order to stick it to the consumer. I'm pretty angry about this one. I'll careen and do the bottom paint next year for sure. Maybe I'll do it right outside this marina. ha ha ha
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Old 22-04-2006, 13:26   #7
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I have careened numerous times for a slime and weed brush off, and once for an A/F application. Unless there are more than 2 of you, plan to do this over 2 low tides. The frst tide will be taken up with cleaning the bottom down ready for the paint. Whilst you will finish in plenty of time, it is better to wait until the next tide as although you will have to wait until the bottom dries down after a fresh water wash down, it will still give you more time to apply, and a decent chance for the A/F to actually start to dry! Make sure you do between the hulls first, and then make sure the last two sides are started from the deeper end!
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Old 22-04-2006, 13:53   #8
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Hi Robert,

Thanks so much for the advice. After reading the contract at the place in RI I planned to haul at, I have to find another place or possibly careen it this year.

The contract actually says that the marina and its employees are in no way responsible for any damage they cause your vessel, including during haulouts or docking by marina employees. It goes on and on in this them basically saying that if they scratch, break, drop out boat... we have no legal recourse.

After being ripped off several times in my life from similar contracts, I can't haul there either. Man... I gotta sail off... I'm turing into a grumpy old guy...
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Old 22-04-2006, 14:04   #9
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Sean
had the same exact thing happen at my marina on the Chesapeake.
In no uncertain terms I told the marina owner to produce 'our' signed contract and show me in the fine print where such was listed / agreed to with my/his signature. Since my usage of his marina was by 'contract' and no exclusion or limitations were listed on the original contract that his 'surprise' enactment outside of the bounds of the contract was totally without merit and he would bear the cost of such a breach and its defense. The discussion (still remaining friendly and cordial) then digressed into entrapment, fraud, etc. ... and I have been happily painting my own bottom since (for the next 10 years). I used to work of a Long Island based corporation ... so you expect and get used to these kinds of rip-offs everyday there.

For the 'hold blameless' clause, simply put a line through it and initial it. If they want your money, they'll accept it. Dont stand for this BS. ;-)
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Old 23-04-2006, 03:52   #10
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Quote:
The contract actually says that the marina and its employees are in no way responsible for any damage they cause your vessel, including during haulouts or docking by marina employees. It goes on and on in this them basically saying that if they scratch, break, drop out boat... we have no legal recourse.
That would have no legal standing in UK. They would not be allowed to hide behind such a clause.
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Old 23-04-2006, 08:34   #11
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Thanks again, guys. I have indeed already crossed out the offending lines, and will fax back the work order so it does not have that wording in it. If they don't accept, I have to keep looking for a marina that will both allow me to paint my bottom AND be responsible for damage they cause.

Robert... it's pretty crazy, right? These kinds of things are why I am always going off the deep end about my country. So many thing wrong here... and nothing is improving.

Well, thanks for all the input. I might try some other unorthodox moves this season rather than haul out:

1) Bring the boat up way up a river to fresh water in order to kill all the salt water based growth

2) Careen it to do zincs and scrape some residual growth

3) Enjoy the season, knowing I safely worked on my boat without paying $500 to have it hauled by people who either won't let me do my bottom paint, or will not be responsible for damage they cause.
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Old 23-04-2006, 09:03   #12
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For safety when buffing the topsides consider to use/rent pneumatic equipment. Most tool rentals have the necessary compressors and angle grinders to which you can affix the polishing bonnets, etc.

When you drop a pneumatic tool into the water there is no danger as with 'electrics' depending on a cheapy GFI being able to instantly react. In water it only take a few milliamps to kill you.
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Old 23-04-2006, 09:08   #13
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Talbot's statement is also correct for the USA as damage caused by negligence is never excluded from contracts .... unless you specifically sign and agree or hand write in such an exception to the contract. Negligence is not always easily proved, however. I always 'line-out' such 'hold blameless and defend' BS from lawyer boilerplate. NY state is notorious for this BS.
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Old 23-04-2006, 13:38   #14
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Very interesting, Rich. Thanks for the heads up. I did cross out and initial the offending BS.

We'll see if they bite now, or if I have to move on to other suggested marinas.
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Old 24-04-2006, 11:44   #15
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A few thoughts.

First yards do not profit from damaging their clients boats and not making it right regardless of contract language. A yard with a good reputation among the local sailing community might be worth considering.

I was discussing this with another 27 owner several weeks ago. He has done his own bottom job several times and has decided to have it done simply because when you add in all the costs of doing it yourself the difference is not worth the hassle. I guess if one had more time than money the equation could change.

It seems that the idea of careening the boat would create a greater risk of damaged gelcoat than the a careless travellift operator. Also having the Coasties catching you in the shallows scraping the hull might prove costly.

Finally if you do buff your boat be sure to use a buffer and not a grinder or sander with a buffing disk. Buffers turn much slower than other tools and some power tools can eat through a buffing pad and gelcoat pretty quick.
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